THE GREAT AMENDMENT HUNT: END OF THE WELFARE WARS.

Most of the amendments I've put up here today have been a bit galling. This one, however, is a pleasant surprise. David Vitter offered an amendment "to require States to implement drug testing programs for applicants for and recipients of assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which would encourage healthy, drug-free families instead of encouraging dependent behavior or on-going drug abuse." In other words, welfare would require a drug test. If you're a poor child, and your mother can't pass the test, or is afraid to try, no welfare.

Back in the day, this sort of feel-good assault on welfare mothers would have passed with 112 votes. The Senate would have had to seat new senators to sufficiently demonstrate support for further toughening welfare requirements. This time, it was easily voted down, 18-79. The welfare wars have really lost their potency.

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